Book: Glass Tidings
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: December 3, 2016
Length: 201 pages
Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus to Texas after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.
He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.
Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.
Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.
But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.
Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.
What is your favorite thing about writing holiday stories?
For me, it’s always families. I think the holidays can be a really rough time for a lot of people and I always wish I could scoop more friends up and park them with my family for the holidays. Most of my family has worked in the restaurant business at different points, so we always had lots of “orphans” stuck in town for work who we asked to join us for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We have an open door for anyone who’s lonely and needs a place to land. I think that’s part of why I love writing and reading about people and their families at the holidays, whether we’re talking about the family you’re born into, the one that adopts you, or the family you make with a ragtag band of misfit friends. (Isn’t there always a ragtag band of misfits?) It makes me happy to have people surround themselves with love during the holiday season.
One of your characters in Glass Tidings is a glass artist. I adore glass blowing. Is he sort of like that or does he paint on the glass?
I love glass blowing too! But Eddie doesn’t have access to that kind of setup most of the time, so he works with borosilicate glass rods that he heats up with a torch and manipulates while the glass is softish, like taffy. When I was a kid, I used to watch people make fairies and dragons and such at the Renaissance faire my parents took us to, and these days I have a friend who makes jewelry and supervises studio time at a glass art collective in my neighborhood. It’s so cool to watch people work with this magic substance that can be hard and soft and utterly beautiful.
Do you have a favorite holiday story you make sure you read every year?
Oh man, yes. I mean, I’m a Dickens fan, so I reread A Christmas Carol every year. I still remember the first time I picked that book up, long after I’d seen a bunch of different movie versions (my favorite of which is absolutely the Muppet one!). I was caught off guard by how funny it is. I always forget what a terrific sense of humor Dickens imbued so many of his books with. Lately, I also reread romance favorites by Josh Lanyon (The Dickens With Love), Cecilia Grant (A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong), and others. I’m a total Christmas romance addict.
You likely start writing a holiday book in the middle of summer when it’s hot and not at all Christmas-y. How do you get yourself in the holiday mood?
You know how some people cringe as soon as they start hearing Christmas music playing in, like, October? Um, I am not one of those people. LOL. I have lots of Christmas playlists and mixes, made by me or my sister mostly. I can listen to those year-round with happiness! I also don’t usually have the AC on and Chicago is hella hot in the summer, so writing about cold and snow and freezing wind is all kinds of appealing.
One thing that always interests me is how the idea of a story comes to be. So tell us how Glass Tiding formed?
When I was a kid, we used to vacation every other summer with relatives on Cape Cod. Every year we would go to this massive Christmas shop to pick out a new ornament for each of us, and I was always mesmerized by the idea of someone running a store devoted to one holiday. So I knew I wanted to write about a Christmas shop owner, but I’m a contrarian. So instead of a guy who’s super into Christmas, I wrote one who’s a hermit who doesn’t celebrate the season anymore outside of work, because he’s hiding from the world. And I figured another loner, even more isolated than Mr. Christmas Shop, would be the perfect person to drop in his lap so I could watch the two of them struggle to figure out a way through their own defenses and bad habits to reach out, both to each other and to other people they realize they want to make room for in their lives.
And finally, what are you doing for the holidays this year?
I’ll be with my family, as always. My immediate family all still lives in Chicago, so we get together on Christmas Eve for a meal and Christmas movies (usually Love Actually, Die Hard, The Muppet Christmas Carol, the Grinch, and Christmas in Connecticut.) Then I go home and wrap all the gifts I meant to wrap earlier but procrastinated, which keeps me up until about 3am. Then we meet again for brunch (my mom makes an amazing frittata and cranberry orange bread) and gifts and passing out on the couch from exhaustion during replays of whatever movies we fell asleep during the night before. It’s a lovely day and I’m so looking forward to it!
About Amy Jo Cousins
Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.
Connect with Amy Jo:
- Website: amyjocousins.com/
- Blog: amyjocousins.com/blog/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/AmyJoCousins/
- Twitter: @_AJCousins
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amyjocousins/
To celebrate the release of Glass Tidings, one lucky winner will receive $20 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!